The Spartan and the AK-47

We prefer to pay the enormous price of incarcerating a large percentage of the population than to spend the same amount on education and economic equity.


Close readers will have noticed that this and the previous post opened with my newest feature – a centered introductory statement at the top, but few would know how much work that took.

So i’ll tell you.

See, as we all know, i’m technically challenged, but even so, somehow over the years when i was acting as a content provider on my landlord’s NoeHill website,  i learned a handful of html elements so i could format the material before i gave it to him.  And then when i moved to my own site on Blogspot, those elements became very useful for sneaking around some of Blogspot’s limitations.  When i got a talented web designer, Geo Gaile, to build this website on WordPress for me, i no longer needed html.  [For those even less technical than i am, html is this stuff called “hypertrophied markup language” that consists of “elements” that control the appearance of your text, graphics, and links to other material on the Internet.  An example is “<em>text</em>”, which puts the word “text” into italics.]

Since i had blatantly stolen the idea of beginning my posts with an introductory statement from my friend CKM’s fine blog, Some Assembly Required, i figured the least i could do is use a different typeface to set mine off.

Not a problem because one of the html elements i remembered was the one to change typefaces.  Alas, after several hours of hacking and cursing, i demonstrated that WordPress will not allow miserable users to just stick in html codes to briefly change typefaces.  Oh no, WordPress uses this weird stuff called CSS (“Complicated Style Sheets”) to govern typefaces, even for little introductory comments.

I mean, i whined, why’d i go to the trouble to learn a bit of html if They were going to turn around and deprecate much of it on me.  The only good thing that’s come out of this is that i’ve learned the word “deprecate” in its high tech sense and am gonna start working it into conversations.  As in, “Deprecate you, you scumbag!”

Well, and that after a good deal of Internet surfing i managed to build a snippet of what i assume to be CSS that actually works.  Here it is:

<p style=”font-family: helvetica, arial, sans-serif; text-align: center;”>Things would have turned out very different if Adam had had the right to bear arms and just shot the serpent.</p>

Whatever that stuff is, it’s close to html but not the same. I feel like a Spartan who’s been given an AK-47.  Don’t understand how it works or whether i can get it to work again, but it sure did a good job the first time i tried it.

Flushed with success, i did some searching and found the CSS command for point size, tried it, and it also worked first time.  So now, if i ever want to insert something in a different typeface and/or point size, i know how.  ta da.

That said, i’m much better at cooking and will make an almond torte now.

Meanwhile, a lovely display titled “Agua” in front of the Exploratorium during Sunday Streets on the Embarcadero last Sunday.


Drink it while you got it.

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